Getting around in Brittany or Bretagne or Breizh… !

People come and go and go around in my lovely Bretagne, but they always ask me for public transports, not the best in the country…car is still king here; but we do have as in France overall good public transportation to take you to most of Brittany. Heavy subject for me ,but will try to give you as much information as possible in a general guidance.

However, on family trips we use the car exclusively and the trajects have always been wonderful and plenty of family anecdotes and sights; of course will tell you this first…. We are about 4h45 hours from our home/Vannes area to Paris by roads the N24 N157 A81 A11 A10 and D920 to the Montparnasse area. However, our preferred route is taken the no tolls in 6h on the N24 to Rennes get on the north or rocade nord (N136) direction Caen, to hook up with the A84 still direction Caen but get off at Fougéres on the N12 direction Mayenne/Alençon then Dreux to connect with the A12 and continue direction Paris on the A13 getting to Paris by the Porte d’Autheil or continue on the BP to the porte de Passy or Muette.

The expressway or voie express N165 connects all the major towns from Nantes to Brest, and N24 connects Rennes to Lorient etc. Unlike other road networks in France, it is toll-free roads as per Breton tradition since 1532!!! It is said that Brittany’s free road network is a legacy of Anne de Bretagne who ordered the abolition of tolls between Brittany and France while married to the King of France. In fact, it is as a result of a political decision taken in the 60s to open up the region to the rest of the country. 

The expressways or Autoroutes or with the letter A in front of the number :https://www.autoroutes.fr/en/routes.htm

This is the Stationaute on the N165 with exit/sortie and amenities :https://www.stationaute.com/highway/N165

This is the Stationaute on the N24 with exit/sortie and amenities : https://www.stationaute.com/highway/N24

You can see on Stationaute the other highways telling you exits and amenities : https://www.stationaute.com/

The carpooling vogue is big here and plenty of sites offering this service with bays of parking specifically design for the exchange meeting place. They are growing with many more communities a lot better than Paris ! You have a webpage for each department of the lovely region of Bretagne , The popular nationwide is Bla Bla Car webpage : https://www.blablacar.fr/

There are many sites but never use them so rather do not list here, the word in French is covoiturage to search for others, Remember, departments of Brittany are Finistére 29, Côtes d’Armor 22, Morbihan 56, and Ille et Vilaine 35, For my dept Morbihan Vannes is well covered here is a map and location of pickup places : https://www.golfedumorbihan-vannesagglomeration.bzh/covoiturage

The most extensive is the train network as in France, There are great train stations covering most of the land, even TGV lines from Rennes to Brest, Quimper and Saint-Malo, the rail system provides Brittany with a good service. With today’s expected speeds: the TGV takes 1,25 hours from Paris to Rennes and 2,25 hours from Paris-Montparnasse to Vannes even 3,25 to Brest; other TGV lines offer direct connections between Rennes and Lille , Lyon, Strasbourg and Marseille amongst some. The TER (Transport Express Régional, or express regional transport services by train and sometimes bus) successfully serves the main cities in Brittany.

I have used extensively the Auray or Vannes to Paris Montparnasse route on TGV with stops in Redon, Le Mans, Rennes, As well as TER lines Vannes to Nantes, and Rennes.

The official SNCF trains information : https://www.sncf-connect.com/

The official TER Bretagne : https://www.ter.sncf.com/bretagne

In Summers, there is a very popular service from Auray to Quiberon near the beaches call the Tire-Bouchon,(corkscrew) TER Tire Bouchon info : https://www.ter.sncf.com/bretagne/tarifs-cartes/bons-plans/voyages-tire-bouchon

The Bus service is pretty good especially in major cities ,a lot less in the countryside. In my town there is only one bus service line 5 Keolis passing 2-3 hours intervals. If you ever in the area from Vannes, Auray etc this is the line to get to me ! The KeolisAtlantique on line 5 : https://keolis-atlantique.com/fr/6V-Plan-et-horaires-de-la-ligne-5.html

The bus network in Brittany has now been group into BreizhGo site for all transports modes : https://www.breizhgo.bzh/itineraires-et-horaires/trouver-mon-itineraire

There are eight airports in Brittany: Brest , Rennes, Lorient , Quimper, Dinard , Lannion , Morlaix and Saint-Brieuc. There are daily flights to Paris from Brest, Rennes, Lorient, Quimper and Lannion), and connections with national and European cities are available. We do are serve as well by the airport in old Brittany, Nantes Atlantique which I used the most by far ! . Once in Lorient,and twice at Rennes, the rest have been Nantes.

Nantes : https://www.nantes.aeroport.fr/en/homepage

Lorient:  https://www.lorient.aeroport.fr/en

Rennes:  https://www.rennes.aeroport.fr/en

The ports of Saint-Malo and Roscoff welcome travellers heading to the UK (Portsmouth, Plymouth and Poole) and Ireland (Cork), with the port of Saint-Malo also experiencing busy traffic to and from the Channel Islands. Regular ferry services connect Brittany to its many islands: Île aux Moines, Île d’Arz, Île de Bréhat, Île de Batz, Ushant, Molène, Île de Sein, Belle-Ile, Groix, the Glénan Islands, Houat and Hoëdic.

Brittany has 5 major trading ports: Brest, Lorient, Roscoff, Le Légué and Saint-Malo. The main ones for passenger , me think are St Malo and Roscoff,

Port of St Malo :  https://ports.bretagne.bzh/ports/saint-malo/

Port de Roscoff:  https://ports.bretagne.bzh/ports/vieux-port/

We have plenty of cycling paths and it is a heaven on earth here, very much in vogue and many editions of the Tour de France passed by Brittany , and we have enjoyed it. Brittany’s network of cycle paths and walking trails is part of the quality of life and is one of the region’s tourist attractions. There is a network of routes approved by the Fédérations Françaises de Cyclisme et de Cyclotourisme. This will allow you to explore the Breton peninsula along the coast, cross east to west along the canal from Nantes to Brest and travel inland from north to south. It is part of the European route that goes from the north (Stockholm) to the south (Lisbon) of Europe via Brittany. The official Federation and renting bikes in France:  https://ffvelo.fr/ff-cyclotourisme/nos-partenaires/partenaires-tourisme/

Each major city has its own public transports for local needs, however, BreizhGo will give you these too, This of course is a general overview of the major public transports available,there is much is more, If you ever by here and need to know how to get around, let me know.  Enjoy Brittany as much as I do for the last 11 years now !

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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